"The biggest challenge our type of products present is that it forces the design team to understand what it is our customers want and need. You can look at market research or study up on these activities, but it's not easy to watch someone climbing and get a true understanding of what they're doing or how they're using the equipment. You have to be in their shoes to truly understand what they want."
That's what Ben Walker, director of R&D from Black Diamond, recently told Design News in this Walk a Mile in Your Ski Boots article. Ben presented at last week's Innovation Leadership Summit. With passionate climbers as the company's key strategic asset, Black Diamond knows what makes a great product versus merely a good one, and where there are opportunities for improvement.